The Force producer denies any talk that his next directorial project will be a sequel to the Akshay Kumar-Katrina Kaif starrer and talks about an online hunt he has launched for budding scriptwriters
After two flop films – London Dreams and Action Replayy – filmmaker Vipul Amrutlal Shah has shifted focus to production. And the box-office success of his 2011 production Force starring John Abraham and Genelia D’Souza has put things back into action for the writer-director. To begin with, speculation is rife that Shah is planning to direct a sequel of his 2007 hit film, Namastey London.
“Generally I don’t speak about my work till my script is locked and the actors are signed. But just to clarify, at this moment I am not writing any sequel,” says the filmmaker who is finally gearing up to direct a film the failure that was Action Replayy. “After that one didn’t do well, I wanted to take two steps back and reinvent myself as a director,” says Shah. “That is a process every director goes through when his work doesn’t get accepted. I think I have kind of thought through what I want to do now and I am writing it. So very soon, hopefully, I will be directing.”
He figured out why the Akshay Kumar–Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starrer didn’t make money at the box-office: “One of the strongest reasons which was criticised was the way I showed Akshay in the film. His look didn’t go down very well with his fans. They didn’t want to see their favourite actor looking like that. They want him to always look good,” says Shah. “But that’s a chance I took, and it didn’t pay off. Besides that, people will have their own ideas – I won’t believe in some of the theories, but some I will seriously consider. Now that film is gone and over. The fact that people loved it on satellite is some relief, so it wasn’t a complete rejection.”
While it looks as if Shah has made peace with the failure of Action Replayy, he hasn’t worked again with Akshay, with whom he created back to back successes like Aankhen, Waqt, Namastey London and Singh Is Kinng. Instead of casting his favourite actor, the original action star, the filmmaker opted for the dishy dude John Abraham to play a deadly cop in his last production, Force. So does Shah plan to do work with Akshay again? “I will be very keen to work with Akshay. I am still in the process of writing (a script). I’ll have to pitch it to him. He has to like what I am writing.”
Clearly Shah isn’t stuck in the past mulling over things gone, but looking to the future and adopting modern ways. And that’s why he has come up with an unusual way to find new scripts and scriptwriters. The Force producer along with Talenthouse has launched an online hunt for budding writers. New talent and fresh ideas are definitely welcome in Bollywood, but why look for it in the virtual world? “I think the way we are moving now, everything is going viral,” Shah says. “So many writers want to pitch their work to us, but because of our tight schedules we are not able to meet them and listen to what they have to say. I thought this would be a great platform for them to show off their work.”
What does the writer get from this? “If someone’s script is really terrific, it will be used to make a film and that will be written by the writer,” explains Shah. “There will be an obvious winner, though if I like more than one writer’s work, nothing will stop me from involving them in my team in some way.”